The Topeka Swim Association expects excellence from its employees, coaches, team leadership, parents, and swimmers. Nobody is perfect, however, and at times undesirable circumstances, situations, and behaviors happen. But because of TSA’s commitment to excellence and safety, individuals or groups must be held accountable for behaviors, words, and actions that do not represent the values and conduct expected from USA Swimming and TSA members. 

 

The Topeka Swim Association Grievance Procedures give swimmers, parents, coaches, Club leadership, and employees a way to address and report grievances in a productive, systematic way that allows the appropriate parties to investigate and intervene, and take disciplinary action when needed.

 

Topeka Swim Association Grievance Procedures

 

The Topeka Swim Association (TSA) Grievance Procedure, in conjunction with the Topeka Swim Association Whistleblower Policy, provides swimmers, parents, coaches, club leaders and employees a system to address and report grievances in a productive, systematic way. Following these Procedures provides the appropriate parties a means to properly investigate, intervene, and take disciplinary action when needed.  
WHERE TO REPORT:
For issues dealing with sexual misconduct, sexual harassment and/or sexually explicit or inappropriate communication through social media:
U.S. Center for SafeSport: 720-524-5640 or click here to fill out the online reporting form
For issues dealing with physical abuse, emotional abuse, criminal charges and the use, sale or distribution of illegal drugs:
USA Swimming Safe Sport: safesport@usaswimming.org or click here to fill out the USA Swimming Safe Sport online reporting form
For issues dealing with known or suspected child abuse:
Topeka Police Department/Child Protective Services
For issues dealing with peer-to-peer bullying, coach-athlete bullying, parent issues, violations of the TSA Code of Conduct and violations of the Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy.
These issues are handled at the club level following the procedures outlined below.
 
TYPES OF GRIEVANCES:
1. Swimmer conduct
2. Assistant or Age Group Coach Conduct
3. Head Coach Conduct
4. Employee Conduct (non-swim team employees)
5. Board of Director Member Conduct
6. USA Swim Official or swim team parent conduct
 
WHOM TO NOTIFY OF A GRIEVANCE (The Grievance Chain of Command)
 
Regarding the Conduct of a Swimmer - Contact the swimmer’s coach.
Should a parent or swimmer feel another swimmer’s conduct is inappropriate or violates the TSA Code of Conduct, the parent/swimmer should discuss these concerns with the coach of the swimmer responsible for the violation (Responsible Coach). This complaint should be made in person or in writing.  Coaches will ensure the TSA Board of Directors is notified of the complaint and will participate in assessing behavior.
 
Regarding the Conduct of an Assistant or Age Group Coach - Contact the Head Coach
Should a parent or swimmer feel an Assistant or Age Group Coach’s conduct is inappropriate or in violation of any Club policies or procedures, the parent/swimmer should notify the Head Coach of this violation.  This complaint should be made in person or in writing.  The Head Coach will ensure that the TSA Board of Directors is notified of the complaint and will participate in assessing behavior.
 
Regarding Conduct of Head Coach – Notify the TSA Board President 
Should a parent or swimmer feel the Head Coach’s conduct is inappropriate or violates any Club policies or procedures, the parent/swimmer should notify the President of the Board of Directors of this violation.  This complaint should be made in person or in writing.   If the President is not immediately available, this complaint may be presented to any member of the Board of Directors, with notification made in writing to the President.  This complaint will be subject to review and discussion by the full Board of Directors.
 
Regarding Board of Director Member Conduct - Notify the TSA Board President
Should a parent or swimmer feel a Director’s conduct is inappropriate or violates any Club policies or procedures, the parent/swimmer should notify the Board President of this violation in person or in writing. If the Board President is the Director whose conduct is in question, the Board Vice President should be notified in writing or in person instead of the Board President. This complaint will be reviewed and discussed by the full Board of Directors.
 
Regarding Parent or Swim Official Conduct - Notify the Head Coach and Board President
Should a parent or swimmer feel another TSA parent’s or an official’s conduct is inappropriate or violates any Club policies or procedures, the parent/swimmer should notify the Head Coach and Board President of this violation in person or in writing. This complaint will be reviewed and discussed by the full Board of Directors.
 
Note: Except for issues which immediately affect the health and safety of swimmers, all matters should be discussed before or after a coaching session, as coaches should not be expected to deal with issues during water time.
 
HOW GRIEVANCES WILL BE HANDLED
The Board of Directors have the authority to impose penalties for infractions of TSA Athlete, Parent and Coach Codes of Conduct or any behavior(s) they deem not conducive to the best interests of the Club or other swimmers. Consequences are at the sole discretion of the coaches and/or TSA Board of Directors and may include, but aren’t limited to, verbal warnings, dismissal from practice, contacting parents, temporary suspension from club activities and, in accordance with the TSA Bylaws, expulsion. Involved parties will be informed of the processes and range of potential consequences. The U.S. Center for SafeSport, USA Swimming and local law enforcement (if applicable) will be contacted within 24 hours if a coach, parent, or swimmer violates the SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movements, the USA Swimming Code of Conduct, Athlete Protection Policy, or local laws.
 
1. Gathering Information: The appropriate individuals will contact the person who filed the grievance, and the person against whom the grievance is being filed, to ask questions about what happened. In addition, other witnesses may be contacted for more information.  All information will be recorded on the TSA grievance procedure form.  
2. Assessing Behavior: The behavior of the person(s) against which the grievance was brought, will be assessed using club policies and facility rules, USA Swimming Code of Conduct, USA Swimming Safe Sport policies, as well as applicable local and state laws.
3. Consequences will be given, and disciplinary action will be taken, if appropriate. These consequences and disciplinary actions will be decided using the following general guidelines: 
a. Nature of the misconduct
b. Severity of the misconduct
c. Prior disciplinary actions
d. Adverse effect of the misconduct
e. Application of the Code of Conduct
 
APPEALS PROCEDURE
Any initial conduct review and disciplinary action will be the responsibility of the initial person(s) responsible for officially receiving said grievance (see “to whom to report” above). A decision, and/or disciplinary action, will be issued as soon as reasonably possible.
 
If a Parent/Swimmer who registers the complaint with an Assistant or Age Group Coach feels the disciplinary action is insufficient or unsatisfactorily resolves the issue, or if the responsible coach fails to address the parent/swimmer’s concerns in a timely manner, the parent/swimmer may appeal the decision to the Head Coach, in writing, within 7 days of the initial complaint. A decision and/or disciplinary action will be issued by the Head Coach as soon as reasonably possible.
 
If the parent/swimmer who registers the complaint appeals the Responsible Coach’s conduct review and/or disciplinary action to the Head Coach and feels the Head Coach’s decision/disciplinary action is insufficient or unsatisfactorily resolves the issue, or if the Head Coach fails to address the parent/swimmer’s concerns in a timely manner, the parent/swimmer may request that the full Board of Directors review all disciplinary actions and any appeals to the Head Coach up to that point by the full Board of Directors.  
 
The decision of the Board of Directors regarding any complaint, and any resulting disciplinary action, is final.